Trigger points – the diagnosis
I recently started running again. It’s been a while and like any attempt to get fit, you have to battle through the resistance. So at first I tried to ignore the pain in my Achilles and hoped it would go away.
My Physiotherapy skills are also a bit rusty after not practising for a while, but it’s almost impossible to forget what you’ve learned from experience.
I knew it may feel like it, but the pain did not come from my Achilles.. And sure enough it didn’t take long to find the trigger point a bit higher up in my calf-muscle. When I pressed on it, it produced the familiar pain.
The sensation I felt in my Achilles is so similar to many emotionally painful experiences in life… It’s called ‘referred pain’. And the trouble is that unless you know any better, you’re always going to be left treating the symptoms instead of trying to solve the underlying cause.
I know perfectly well that treating the trigger points will help me to get temporary rid of the pain, but unless I do something about my weak hip stabilizers it will probably come back as soon as I start running again. The problem is almost always ‘higher up’ (or lower down depending on the referral patterns).
Pain is our bodies way of telling us there is something wrong.
Emotional outbursts are often a sign that all is not well in our souls.
It’s perfectly natural (and often our first instincts) to numb the pain. To seize taking part in any activities that cause discomfort. Unfortunately this includes therapy. Because the catch when it comes to the treatment of physical trigger points is that it will involve someone applying pressure (or sticking a needle) right into it.
It may not be that painful, but it will sure not be comfortable and there is no way around it. It may feel worse before it gets better. As far as stabilizing exercises and stretches go – it also seems pretty boring when all you want to do is run.
But if you truly want to run pain-free there is no other way around it.
I can manage to take care of trigger points in my leg and I know a fair amount of stabilization exercises by heart. But sometimes our pain can be caused by triggers far out of our own reach and we have to ask for help.
Needless to say the same is true for emotional trigger points.
If you are at a place where you desire to ‘run’ again, but the pain is stealing your joy. I want to encourage you to get to the heart of it. Stop trying to numb the symptoms while your choice of ‘medication’ may have negative side effects of its own. And it’s not really doing anything to help solve the real problem.
Ask for help if you have to. Pray that the Healer will show you where the pain comes from.
It may hurt a bit more before it gets better. You may have to sit out a few rounds on the road to emotionally healing. Do a few boring exercises like journaling and spend time on your knees in prayer.
All I can promise you is that it will be worth it… because not only will you be able to run better, but if the pain ever comes back – you will know what to do 😉
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Image Credit: Pixabay